The London Review of Breakfasts

"Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper." (Francis Bacon)

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Prince Regent, Herne Hill

The Prince Regent
69 Dulwich Road
Herne Hill
020 7274 1567

by Orva Easy

It was an unsettling morning. The weather could only be described as weird, possibly even spelled with a y. Humid, blustery winds buffeted us and made plastic bags and old newspapers dance wildly along the street. Dark clouds loomed but never made good on their threat. Everything looked yellowish, as though it had been lightly buttered. In other words, it was the kind of weather you get just before an alien invasion.

Reasoning that should said invasion occur we might not get another opportunity to fortify ourselves for a while, my companion and I made determinedly for the nearest breakfast establishment – in this case, the Prince Regent pub.

The menu, on a blackboard in the non-smoking, wood-clad dining room, was small but adequate. After one of those brief flirtations with the idea of eggs benedict, we settled on a full English for me and kedgeree for my adventurous companion, plus a rather nice bottle of Sauvignon de Touraine. The kedgeree was pleasant, but the curry level and generosity of fish (and indeed the colour, which was approaching pistachio) were found wanting. The traditional English was just that – juicy mushrooms, flavourful grilled tomato, a large and meaty, if not particularly memorable, sausage, piquant bacon and a slightly underdone egg. As requested, they held off a little on the beans. I found the hand-written addition of a 10% service charge rather impudent, especially since the service was fluid at best. As a polite English person, I would no doubt have left more otherwise. Fools.

One is hardly spoilt for choice, breakfastly-speaking, in this still not fully gentrified part of town, so the morning out-diner could reasonably venture here. But it is somewhat lacklustre and hardly a satisfactory coda to the end of the world as we know it.


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